If I have learned anything about raising twins, it is that it is important not to just prepare the environment but prepare moments. Throughout the tenth month, our household had its share of illness. Through that experience, I learned something that will hopefully help me as I continue to raise twins. I learned the importance and need to prepare moments in our day.
I’m not sure if this is true for everyone or just my personality but sometimes I just plow through things just to get to the other side of the task. I know, I know, not very “Montessori” of me. But nonetheless, it is something I struggle with. By doing this though, I find myself in the midst of challenging moments that could have likely been avoided had I taken the 30 seconds to prepare the moment a little more intentionally.
Let me paint you a picture of what I mean by this and how I came to this realization.
One twin has a poopy diaper that needs to be changed. I start to get the things ready to change his diaper. Meanwhile, his twin brother is curious and loves to explore anything and everything that he is doing. Naturally, he comes over to join the diaper change. His close proximity to me reminds him that actually he wants to be held and comforted by me while I am in the middle of a poopy diaper change with a baby who doesn’t really enjoy being on his back and having his diaper changed in the first place. His brother, on the other hand, is showing me how interested he is in everything that I am doing. I have to move his brother away so he doesn’t get into the poopy diaper. He is sad that he can’t be right in the action, and I begin to grow impatient.
It was through many, and I mean many, moments like this that I started to grow more impatient. What were once beautiful moments of connection with my babies, had become moments of tension and frustration for everyone. Now, let me share my realization with you!
How to Prepare
I’m becoming more aware of this novel idea that I can actually set up a moment to go more successfully. I found that my own need and ability to be able to manage a situation calmly are valid and important. I have had to put my needs above my boy’s immediate and continual need for freedom of movement. My new strategy is engagement and containment.
Either, I try to connect them to something in the environment, like a toy or book. However, if I need to change a dirty diaper or just need a little more physical space and a break from being crawled on while doing a task, I will go put one of them in their highchair with a toy or kitchen utensil. This gives me a few minutes of peace where I can put my attention and focus on the baby who is having a self-care task done to them. It allows me to enter into this moment in the way I want to be able to, as well as create a better experience for the other twin.
This simple act of preparing for the moment before starting the moment has really helped me to be a better prepared adult. In this season of two very mobile and curious babies, it has been necessary to prepare moments in our day so that I can stay calm and enjoy tasks that may not always be as successful with another baby crawling around trying to join in on the action!
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Month 10 with Twins
Aside from recognizing this need to prepare moments in our day, there have also been a lot of other moments of developmental growth. Here are some of my observations from our month with 10-month-old twins.
- Climbing stairs more quickly and with greater refinement
- Refinement of both palmer and pincer grasps
- Scooting backward down our ramp and enjoying that moment
- Cruising along furniture and from one piece of furniture to another
- Great enjoyment of books
- Having food preferences
- Drinking from an open cup with less spilling (I support by holding the cup most of the time)
- Responding to their spoken name
- Turning their wrist to move their hand. Beginning signs of waving
Whatever season of life you find yourself in, taking care of yourself and your needs is of great importance. When we are in the role of taking care of others it is easy to always put the needs of others before our own. This is honorable so much of the time. However, we still need to take time to do things for ourselves and support our own needs.
For me, it has been having a creative outlet, this blog as well as my YouTube channel. Something that is just for me to stretch my brain, learn new skills, and be creative. Find whatever that thing is for you and give yourself permission to make your needs a priority as well. Your overall well-being is worth investing in because it is that which will provide an even better home environment.